The Worship Quote of the Week for (01/31/2006):

A Hymn of Illumination: "Speak, O Lord"
What do you think about right before the sermon? What goes through your mind as the text for the message is being read? Pastors or other leaders often offer a prayer of illumination right before the reading or preaching of God’s Word. As worshipers, we ask the Holy Spirit to work in our hearts and minds so as to clarify the precious truth of Scripture as it is read and taught. Today’s WORSHIP QUOTE might be called a hymn (or song) of illumination. Imagine what might happen if everyone were to pray this text in preparation for hearing from God..


Speak, O Lord, as we come to You
To receive the food of your Holy Word.
Take Your Truth, plant it deep in us;
Shape and fashion us in Your likeness
That the light of Christ might be seen today
In our acts of love and our deeds of faith.
Speak, O Lord, and fulfill in us
All Your purposes for Your glory.

Teach us, Lord, full obedience,
Holy reverence, true humility.
Test our thoughts and our attitudes
In the radiance of Your purity.
Cause our faith to rise; cause our eyes to see
Your majestic love and authority.
Words of power that can never fail;
Let their truth prevail over unbelief.

Speak, O Lord, and renew our minds;
Help us grasp the heights of Your plans for us—
Truths unchanged from the dawn of time,
That will echo down through eternity.
And by grace we'll stand on Your promises;
And by faith we'll walk as You walk with us.
Speak, O Lord, 'til your church is built
And the earth is filled with Your glory.

— Stuart Townend and Keith Getty, © Thankyou Music, 2005, Administered by (USA) and Kingsway Music (UK), from the recording NEW IRISH HYMNS 4. Available at or on Keith and Kristyn Getty’s upcoming U.S. tour. A short sample of this song can be heard by going to

Have a great week,

Chip Stam
Director, Institute for Christian Worship
School of Church Music and Worship
The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Louisville, Kentucky

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